Bringing children into the world is frequently considered one of the most wonderful experiences and opportunities we can every hope to have. It is also natural to want to say thank you to God for the gift of a newborn child.
Adults and children can be baptised at a Baptism service usually held at 11.15 on a given Sunday of the month at St Mary’s. Optionally this may take place during one of our main services.
Children are baptised in the Church of England at any age from a tiny baby onwards. If you are considering baptism for yourself or for your child you will need to check out eligibility and preparation below.
Children should have three godparents – girls two godmothers and one godfather and boys two godfathers and one godmother. The Church of England laws do say that godparents must be Baptised and should be Confirmed. Godparents should normally be at least 16 years of age.
To qualify for baptism in one of our churches you must live in one of our parishes or be on the Church Electoral Roll of the parish. If you were married in one of our churches but have now moved away and this is your first child we are sometimes able to baptise your child.
Before your child is baptised, you will be expected to come to a preparation session, normally held in St Mary’s Hall, Ross-on-Wye. One of the clergy will lead the sessions and will answer any questions you may have.
Godparents are also encouraged to attend this session as they will find out the specific role which they will be expected to play in your child’s Christian upbringing.
Those who are old enough to understand and make the promises themselves will need three sponsors rather than Godparents. They would be expected to consider Confirmation.
To arrange a Baptism or a Thanksgiving for your child please contact the Benefice Administrator.
Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child
This service provides an opportunity for parents and families to give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and to pray for family life. It may be a private celebration at home or in hospital, or it may be a public celebration in church, sometimes with a number of children.
This service is not the same as Baptism. It does not assume commitment to the Christian faith and to membership of the Church as does Baptism. Baptism expects a solemn commitment to the Christian faith and to the Church by parents and Godparents. Moreover, unlike the service of Thanksgiving, we insist that Baptism takes place within the context of another service when the regular congregation are present to welcome their new member.
If you would like this service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child soon after the birth and prior to Baptism or you think that this service might actually be more honest and realistic for you instead of Baptism, please be in touch with the Administrator or one of the clergy.
Weddings are always a delight and we are excited to welcome couples wishing to marry in any of our churches.
If you’d like to book a wedding please contact the Administrator who will either put you in touch with one of the clergy team or arrange an appointment for you to arrange next steps which will broadly be:
- Booking and planning the Service
Church of England rules state that you can be married in one of our churches provided you or your fiancé live there, own a home there or are on the Church Electoral Roll . It is not normal for the Church of England to allow marriages of those with surviving spouses, however under certain circumstances this might be possible. You can find out more about the Church of England’s rules on marriage here.
Sometimes a funeral can be anticipated, at other times we find ourselves having to make arrangements for a funeral unexpectedly. We hope the information here will be helpful if you find yourself having to arrange a funeral of a loved one.
Anyone is entitled to a funeral service in any of our parishes provided they lived there, have died in one of the parishes or are on the Church Electoral Roll of one of the parishes in the Benefice.
Burial and Interment of Cremated Remains
- For families wishing burial or interment in one of our churchyards, the deceased must have been resident in the parish, or have died there or have been or the Church Electoral Roll there or be in possession of a faculty.
- The deceased may be buried or have their cremated remains interred in an existing family grave where there is space if the family concerned agrees.
- Ross Churchyard is now closed for burials except where there is unused space in a double grave.
Arranging a funeral
- Choose a funeral director who will explain the choices open to you and their cost.
- The funeral director negotiates with you and the Benefice Administrator when and where the funeral is to take place. The priest taking the service will have been given early details of the funeral supplied by the funeral director to the Team Office.
- The priest taking the service will visit you to take things further.
Churchyards and Monuments
- If you wish to mark the grave or interment plot with a memorial stone, you arrange this either through a funeral director or directly with a stonemason of your choosing.
- All stonemasons are governed by the Diocesan Regulations for headstones and memorial tablets in churchyards.
- The Church Fees which are standard throughout the Church of England will form part of bill you receive from the funeral director or stonemason.
• These can be arranged in any of our churches by contacting the Benefice Administrator
• The same fees apply as for funerals.
Link to the National Association of Funeral Directors